Aolib.comFragment of Photochrom print of the front of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany (ca. 1897)

Fruits of Culture »


By graf Leo Tolstoy

Russian drama

graf Leo Tolstoy

Fruits of Culture

A COMEDY IN FOUR ACTS

(1889)

CHARACTERS

LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH ZVEZDÍNTSEF. A retired Lieutenant of the Horse Guards. Owner of more than 60,000 acres of land in various provinces. A fresh—looking, bland, agreeable gentleman of 60. Believes in Spiritualism, and likes to astonish people with his wonderful stories.

ANNA PÁVLOVNA ZVEZDÍNTSEVA. Wife of Leoníd. Stout; pretends to be young; quite taken up with the conventionalities of life; despises her husband, and blindly believes in her doctor. Very irritable.

BETSY. Their daughter. A young woman of 20, fast, tries to be mannish, wears a pince—nez, flirts and giggles. Speaks very quickly and distinctly.

VASÍLY LEONÍDITCH ZVEZDÍNTSEF. Their son, aged 25; has studied law, but has no definite occupation. Member of the Cycling Club, Jockey Club, and of the Society for Promoting the Breeding of Hounds. Enjoys perfect health, and has imperturbable self—assurance. Speaks loud and abruptly. Is either perfectly serious–almost morose, or is noisily gay and laughs loud. Is nicknamed Vovo.

ALEXÉY VLADÍMIRITCH KROUGOSVÉTLOF. A professor and scientist of about 50, with quiet and pleasantly self—possessed manners, and quiet, deliberate, harmonious speech. Likes to talk. Is mildly disdainful of those who do not agree with him. Smokes much. Is lean and active.

THE DOCTOR. About 40. Healthy, fat, red—faced, loud—voiced, and rough; with a self—satisfied smile constantly on his lips.

MÁRYA KONSTANTÍNOVNA. A girl of 20, from the Conservatoire, teacher of music. Wears a fringe, and is super—fashionably dressed. Obsequious, and gets easily confused.

PETRÍSTCHEF. About 28; has taken his degree in philology, and is looking out for a position. Member of the same clubs as Vasíly Leoníditch, and also of the Society for the Organisation of Calico Balls.[1] Is bald—headed, quick in movement and speech, and very polite.

[1] Economical balls at which the ladies are bound to appear in dresses made of cotton materials.

THE BARONESS. A pompous lady of about 50, slow in her movements, speaks with monotonous intonation.

THE PRINCESS. A society woman, a visitor.

HER DAUGHTER. An affected young society woman, a visitor.

THE COUNTESS. An ancient dame, with false hair and teeth. Moves with great difficulty.

GROSSMAN. A dark, nervous, lively man of Jewish type. Speaks very loud.

THE FAT LADY: MÁRYA VASÍLEVNA TOLBOÚHINA. A very distinguished, rich, and kindly woman, acquainted with all the notable people of the last and present generations. Very stout. Speaks hurriedly, trying to be heard above every one else. Smokes.

BARON KLÍNGEN (nicknamed KOKO). A graduate of Petersburg University. Gentleman of the Bedchamber, Attaché to an Embassy. Is perfectly correct in his deportment, and therefore enjoys peace of mind and is quietly gay.

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